Looking for another state crown
|Amie Stewart (20) looks like she has four arms and three legs as she and another player behind her go after the ball in a contest earlier in the regular season. Hustle and spirit like this is what sets Carbon apart from many of the teams in the state. |
He says it's the best volleyball team he has ever coached.
And that's saying a lot considering his teams have dominated most of the states 3A opponents for years.
"We don't have the standout player this year," Coach Bruce Bean said a few weeks ago. "But this is a real team."
On Thursday he, his assistant coaches and the girls who make up the Carbon Lady Dinos volleyball team, will get the chance to show how good they are as they begin a quest for a another state crown.
Some fans may be a little disconcerted and skeptical because losses to both North Sanpete and Emery put the usually number one in the Region 8 Lady Dinos in a second seed position, which pits them against Region 10's number three team, Union, at 2 p.m. on Thursday afternoon in the first round of the tournament at Utah Valley State College.
That pairing may be a good thing for the Lady Dinos because they appear to be in the weaker side of the bracket, with Morgan and North Sanpete in the lower one. But there is no question that strong teams exist in the upper bracket too.
Should Carbon get by the Lady Cougars on Thursday afternoon they would have to probably turn around and play Snow Canyon at 5:15 p.m. The Lady Warriors must get by Grantsville first, but the team from St. George has a 7-0 region record and is considered one of the best in the state. They may be the team to beat in the upper bracket.
"We beat Snow Canyon in a summer league but I am not allowing the team to look past Union," said Bean cautiously on Wednesday. "Union is very athletic. They don't produce a lot of offense, but their defense is strong. We will have to play well to get to the second round winners bracket."
Bean's right. Union is no push over. They played a close game against number one in the state ranked Morgan just the other night.
Also in the mix of the upper bracket is Bear River, a 13-1 team that comes from a weaker region but is still considered one of the top teams in the state.
Other Region 8 teams playing on Thursday include Emery which is going in as the third place team. They face Uintah (7-2) the second place team from Region 10 at 3:30 p.m.
Delta, the regions fourth place team gets the unenviable position of playing Morgan (9-0, 12-1) at 2 p.m. in the lower bracket.
North Sanpete, which gained entry to the tournament as the first place seed by having their only region loss be an emotional set at Carbon a couple of weeks ago, will play Wasatch (3-6, 9-11) at 3:30 p.m.
The final state rankings have also been released and it shows that Carbon is ranked fifth in the state, after being as high as number two this year.
Morgan has kept the top nod while Bear River is in second and Snow Canyon is in third.
A surprise this past week was Emery's victory over the Lady Dinos which vaulted them into fourth place.
Bean knows that state means no easy games. Teams like Pineview, Hurricane or Tooele can sneak up on anybody.
The tournament will run through Friday. If Carbon even only wins one of their games on Thursday they will play on that day as well.
But if they win both on Thursday, they could easily be looking at another championship showdown with Morgan on Friday night.